Report: El Al Mulls $400 Million Loan

el al
El Al planes parked at the Ben Gurion International Airport last month. (Flash90)

El Al Airlines was reportedly considering a Finance Ministry loan offer of $400 million to help the company through the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Channel 12.

The latest in a series of meetings to work out an assistance package for the nation’s flagship carrier ended on Sunday evening without any agreement.

“Discussions will be continued at a later stage,” a Finance Ministry official stated.

El Al has repeatedly said that if adequate support from the state is not forthcoming in time, it will have to close down altogether.

The negotiations with El Al center on a proposal that if the company implements an economizing program, the institutions financing the airline will reduce and postpone repayment of debts.

If the terms are met, Ministry of Finance director general Shai Babad stands ready to authorize state guarantees of up to 75 percent of $400 million in new credit, said to be sufficient for El Al’s survival needs through the crisis, according to Globes.

Meanwhile, a May 14 deadline looms for El Al to present its 2019 financial results. The company received a special extension of two weeks from the Israel Securities Authority to turn in the report. In the event that a deal has not been finalized with the Finance Ministry by that date, it is likely that the auditors will attach a “going concern” warning to El Al’s results that could be spell the demise of the airline.

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